General Check up or full medical screening options

Blackrock1

Frequent Poster
Messages
429
Having just turned 39 i realise that i visit the dentist twice a year and the doctor almost never. I have been fortunate to have good health and i maintain a reasonable health lifestyle but id like to be more pro active about it.

What do people recommend as an annual sort of check up. a full health screen somewhere or just an annual check in with the gp for bloods, cholesterol, weight etc?
 

Pugmister

Frequent Poster
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67
Im 37 and in a similar position to yourself. The executive health screen in the Beacon is what im opting for and appears quite comrehensive.

I had bloods done by my GP two months ago and while all came back normal i asked for a colonoscopy to be scheduled to screen for colon cancer. Thankfully the GP i now attend is of a younger generation to my previous one and more accomodating towards my requests and concerns and didn't dismiss this request because i didnt fit the age profile for such risk.

This screening generally takes place at 50 for those with no family history and 40 for those with family history but much of the recent data indicates the instances for this type of cancer are becoming more common in younger people.
 

Early Riser

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643
I wouldn't go near the health screens myself. The overall evidence for their benefits are poor. Sure they may pick up the odd important thing occasionally but there are real established risks for false positives leading to further more intensive testing and sometimes unnecessary treatments, not to mention increase patient anxiety, which may be on-going. Diagnostic tests are seldom perfect and screening tests are far more imperfect. Once the screen "suggests" something it is very difficult not to do something something about it - further tests, further treatment, etc. Do a google test for over diagnosis and/or overtreatment. They do more harm than good in my opinion.

The advice I follow is to have an annual health check with the GP - as much as to have built up a relationship and to ensure he is familiar with me at baseline as anything else. Of course, to have the blood pressure and cholestrol monitored. He does the weight as well. I avoid the PSA because of the very high false positive problem but I do get the digital exam :). And if I had any specific symptoms I would certainly tell him.

I view the generic health screens as a money-making racket.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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38,147
I wouldn't go near the health screens myself. The overall evidence for their benefits are poor.
Hi Early Riser

You have raised a very important issue - actually a lot of very important issues which I have thought about but not researched.

Would you have specific links from reputable sites to back up the assertion on health screening?

Brendan
 

huskerdu

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,137
I agree with health screening is taking money from the worried well.

The Beacon are having a laugh charging >€500 when 75% of those tests can be done by a GP for a standard GP fee.

These are my favourite bits.
  • Height &Weight & BMI (Body mass Index and Body Composition)
    • Lifestyle Assessment including Diet, Exercise, Stress and Advice
Do you need a consultant to weigh you and advise you to eat healthily, exercise more and manage your stress ?
 

Early Riser

Frequent Poster
Messages
643
Hi Early Riser

You have raised a very important issue - actually a lot of very important issues which I have thought about but not researched.

Would you have specific links from reputable sites to back up the assertion on health screening?

Brendan
I should say that I am speaking about screening programs promoted about private health clinics, rather than public screening (although I have reservations about some of that too - which are politically driven and which are evidence driven?). Anyway, I have linked some articles - which also may have further links:





 

elcato

Moderator
Messages
3,180
I go every 6-8 months (or as required) and get blood done at the same time. It costs €70 for both which seeing as I can afford it is a bargain. During the past 10 years I have been sent for an ultrasound, cardio check up and had my blood pressure monitored purely as a precaution when some symptoms may have appeared. As stated above I think we sometimes overdo these things usually influenced by media reports which appear to be everywhere nowadays. My advice, don't read the indo online or the IT supplement on Tuesdays. Amazing how I hear people in work suddenly state that they seem to have the same symptoms as that poor crock they're talking about in today's paper. :rolleyes:
 

Feemar5

Frequent Poster
Messages
296
I would recommend that you go to your G.P. and build up a history - its much cheaper and in he future if you have a problem the G.P. can look back at your history.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

Frequent Poster
Messages
804
A blood pressure monitor and a weighing scales combined is cheaper than even a GP visit! If you can't do the sums download an app for BMI and the normal range for your age for BP is available online.

It is much more important to look after identified problems/risks than to be scanning the horizon for things that aren't even there. Keep doing physio if you have a bad hip, reduce your calories if your BMI is high, eat properly if you have digestive issues.

Generic health check ups generate a lot of false positives can cause a lot of anxiety and intervention which can turn out to be unnecessary.
 

Buddyboy

Frequent Poster
Messages
522
On a similar note (I know people in the Cancer Data area),
Whenever any indications arose around prostate cancer in people getting tests, they always performed exploratory surgery.

On looking at the data over a number of years, they noticed that more affluent men were dying more regularly from prostate cancer then those less well off (who didn't have any medical insurance).

They came to the conclusion that the interventions were actually causing more harm than good, and have changed their approach to what they call "watchful waiting" rather than going in there straight away with the scalpel.

And on a slightly more flippant note,
whenever my friends wanted to install meters (voltmeters/oil temp meters/rad temp meters) on their motorbikes, I noticed that then went from not worrying about it to being obsessed about it. The actual environment hadn't changed ,but now any deviation from what they considered the norm, was investigated and discussed ad nauseam.
 
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